Enforcement at Federal Facilities
Federal agencies and their facilities must comply with environmental laws and requirements in the same manner and to the same extent as any other regulated facility.
Federal facilities include lands and improvements to lands (buildings, structures, and equipment) owned by, constructed or manufactured for the purpose of leasing to, the federal government. (See the definition of all types of federal facilities.)
On this page:
- Environmental Laws
- Enforcement and Compliance Resources
- Policy and Guidance
- Cleanup & Waste Information
EPA has explicit authority to enforce the law and assess fines at federal facilities violating environmental statutes including the:
Federal facilities must also clean up environmental contamination at their facilities, and federal facilities that are significantly contaminated may be listed on the National Priorities List (NPL). Cleanup is required by presidential Executive Orders, and the environmental statutes listed below, which also give EPA authority to enforce these requirements:
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund)
- Resource Conservation And Recovery Act (RCRA), including the Underground Storage Act (UST) program
- Oil Pollution Act (OPA)
- Clean Water Act (CWA)
Find a federal facilities’ compliance history with the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and hazardous waste laws. Search ECHO (Enforcement and Compliance History Online)
- EPA’s Guide to Enforcement and Compliance at Federal Facilities explains the federal government’s responsibilities under the environmental statutes, and the enforcement and compliance process used by EPA at federal facilities (Formerly known as The Yellow Book: Guide to Environment and Compliance at Federal Facilities”
- FedCenter, is an inter-agency environmental stewardship and compliance assistance center for federal facilities.
- EPA Position Regarding Issuance of Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Orders at DOD facilities (December 1, 2008)
- EPA’s Assessment of Penalties Against Federal Agencies for Violation of Underground Storage Tank Requirements (June 14, 2000)
- Implementation of EPA's Penalty/Compliance Order Authority Against Federal Agencies under the Clean Air Act (October 9, 1998)
- Guidance on Federal Facility Penalty Order Authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act, as Amended in 1996. (May 29, 1998)
- Guidance on Calculating the Economic Benefit of Noncompliance by Federal Agencies (February 13, 2006)
- Guidance on Calculating the Economic Benefit of Noncompliance by Federal Agencies (September 30, 1999)
- Use of Contract Inspectors for EPA's Federal Facility Compliance Inspections/Evaluations (Nov. 1, 2005)
- Clarification on the Use of Contract Inspectors for EPA's Federal Facility Compliance Inspections/Evaluations (Sept. 19, 2006)
- EPA Enforcement Policy for Government Owned, Contractor Operated (GOCO) Facilities (January 7, 1994)
- EPA Administrator Whitman’s letter to Senator Jeffords, Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works, regarding holding federal facilities to the same environmental standards that apply to private facilities. (October 4, 2001)
EPA Revises Policy to Help Redevelopment at Federal Facility Superfund Sites
- As part of the U.S. EPA’s July 25, 2017, Superfund Task Force Report Recommendation 30, on May 17, 2019, EPA revised its 1997 “Policy Towards Landowners and Transferees of Federal Facilities.” Recommendation 30 directed the revision as part of the Report’s Goal 3, “Encouraging Private Investment.” The revised policy is intended to encourage reuse and redevelopment of federal property. EPA developed the policy in coordination with two state organizations, ECOS and ASTSWMO, and other federal agencies.
Recommendation 30 Federal Facilities Agreement (FFA) Amendment to Place FFAs on Hold - Options 1 and 2
Recommendation 30 of EPA's Superfund Task Force Report directed EPA to develop Federal facilities language for placing Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) provisions on hold in instances where a third party wants to do the work. This Recommendation is also part of the Report's Goal 3 of "Encouraging Private Investment." To encourage reuse and redevelopment, either of these two FFA amendments could be used as a starting point for negotiations with the applicable Federal agency. EPA developed these amendments taking into account Federal agency and state comments. DoD prefers Option 2.
EPA issues Principles for Reinforcing Federal Facility Agreement Informal and Formal Dispute Timelines
The pace of cleanup at federal facility Superfund sites can be delayed when Federal Facility Agreement (FFA) parties continue disputes beyond the agreed-upon dispute resolution timelines specified in negotiated FFAs. However, because disagreements and disputes are fact-specific, a fluid rather than a one-size-fits-all process may at times be necessary. This September 2018, memorandum sets out principles clarifying and reinforcing the importance of adhering to agreed-upon FFA informal and formal dispute timelines. These principles support Recommendation 18 of the Administrator's Superfund Task Force Recommendations report, released on July 25, 2017.
CERCLA/Records of Decision
Hastings Naval Ammunition Depot
Tyndall Air Force Base
- Letter to Mr. Gerald F. Pease, US Air Force and Ms. Maureen Sullivan US DOD regarding contamination and cleanup at Tyndall AFB, FL (January 22, 2013)
- Letter from EPA Assistant Administrator, to Mr. Terry Yonkers, Asst. Sec. for Installations, Environment, and Logistics, USAF, regarding the memorandum on Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) at Tyndall AFB, FL (September 13, 2010)